Logroño to Navarrete – 13 Kms, 18,968 steps
I got a nice early start out of Logroño today, which was really quiet for a Saturday morning. Despite some nonsense in the Brierley guidebook about difficulty finding one’s way out of town, I found regular, clear waymarking all the way and had no problems.
I noticed this structure as I went along, and I wasn’t sure if it was a chimney, a carillion, or a celebration of Spanish malehood:
Speaking of celebrations, here’s a statue I walked by at the edge of Logroño, featuring familiar characters:
The first part of my walk today, once I cleared town, was in a really nice park. The Camino path became part of a wider path network, busy this morning with joggers, bicyclists, and families. The weather was perfect: sunny, cool, and with a slight breeze, and I made great time.
The Parque de la Grajera includes a large reservoir lake, which I walked beside for a while. I saw a lot of ducks, swans, moorhens, and other wild fowl in the shallows. Then the path went back to meandering through farm fields and vineyards, where the soil changed to the rich, red clay of the La Rioja region, eventually climbing into the hills.
Today’s path highpoint was only 540 meters, which was good because the temperature started rising after 10 AM, headed for 90 F. I was soon on the outskirts of Navarrete and happily walking beside wineries.
Navarrete is a historic town of 2,900 that’s been well-maintained, with original period houses sporting handsomely-carved family crests and armoral shields. I arrived in the main plaza and shed my pack for a long wait until my hostal accommodation opened. I was happy to see fresh water, lots of shade, and plenty of seating there.
There’s an imposing 16th century Church of the Assumption opposite the plaza. Someone was having their baby christened shortly after I arrived, so I was treated to a view of many of the townsfolk in their finery entering the church. Really high heels are apparently a fashion thing in Spain for young women.
Eventually my hostal opened and I got settled in there. I followed this up with a nice lunch of tapas and wine at the adjacent bar.
Tomorrow, I’m off to Najera, a somewhat larger, grittier city of (now) 8,900 that was the capital of the Kingdom of Navarre in the 6th and 7th centuries. My walk will be 16 Kms, including a climb to an adjacent pass (+100 meters) and the weather is supposed to be just like today was, i.e. cool then hot.